Let’s talk about the women of Overwatch. Apparently, thousands of us have been furiously googling fantasy porn featuring a select few of the female game characters, from everyone’s favorite, Tracer, to D.Va and Sombra. That shouldn’t surprise anyone; even before Overwatch launched, fans were expressing heated reactions to character art, specifically Tracer’s “look at my butt” victory pose. The idea that the female characters in Overwatch are meant to titillate dudes has never really left the game’s dedicated fandom, even when an Overwatch comic revealed that Tracer is dating a woman named Emily.

But what exactly does this superhero gaming porn involve? On the whole, it’s disappointingly vanilla, meaning that the intended viewer is most certainly straight and male. Overwatch porn differs from other superhero porn because the medium lends itself to 3D digital renderings (as opposed to static comic book-style porn). It’s pretty easy for a skilled animator to make Overwatch porn look seamlessly canon, using Valve’s Source Filmmaker. Overwatch porn also shares something important with porn involving, say, Starfire or Wonder Woman: The powers and agency of the sexy female characters involved aren’t really integral to the art’s narrative. It’s not their powers or weapons or skills that make Widowmaker and Mercy sexy; it’s just their giant boobs.

And butts, also, it's also about their butts.

The only exception to that rule, as always, is Tracer, a character who’s often rendered as more fun-loving, active, funny, and playful than the average female porn star. In some animated porn sequences, she’s even allowed to play a dominant role during sex, as long as her partner is female. In a weird way, Tracer has achieved something not many other female characters in porn have: a unique personality that only adds to her sex appeal.

For the most part, though, Overwatch porn is a jumble of animations of the girls getting into off-duty hijinks, like scantily clad pillow fights, or just good ol’ sessions of … butt … jiggling? (That last link is NSFW.)

There’s also a big divide among the Overwatch fans who create lesbian porn and lesbian fan-fiction erotica. While the former uses the digital bodies of Tracer and her oft-shipped sexual partner Widowmaker to excite a male viewer, the latter emphasizes a storyline that binds the characters together. You can usually tell a dumb lesbian porn image from a lovingly crafted piece of fan art pretty quickly — hint, if they’re scissoring, that’s not legit.

I mean ... I don't, but I bet someone does.

That’s not to say that all explicit Overwatch porn is shallow in its conceit. As 3D artist Tsoni told Kotaku back in May, “I was drawn to do Overwatch porn because its characters ooze, well, character,” and it’s hard to argue against his point. Even mainstream porn has benefitted from actors who sell viewers a certain persona — before James Deen was outed as a serial rapist, he took the porn industry by storm as the porn actor straight women could actually imagine themselves dating, and the countless porn actresses who always play teen girls or MILFs in every project only emphasize the idea that the market adores porn with a story, even if that story is damaging or reductive.

You can take what you want from the Pornhub data confirming that Overwatch has people cumming all over the world: Either it’s yet another confirmation that gamer boys like to imagine fucking the girls they use as avatars, or it’s a massive plea for engaging characters and fun storylines in porn. For the sake of 2017 being more interesting and more healthy, let’s lean toward the latter.

Photos via Eddy Productions, Shadbase.com